Shining lights of service, compassion win Citizen of the Year awards

Nikki Wise, who died in a motorcycle accident last year, was posthumously awarded the joint Citizen of the Year award
Nikki Wise, who died in a motorcycle accident last year, was posthumously awarded the joint Citizen of the Year award

SERVICE to the homeless and those in need were recognised at the Mandurah Citizen of the Year Awards in Mandurah today.

Joint winners of the Mandurah Citizen of the Year Award were Mark Patterson and the late Nikki Wise.

Nikki Wise, whose award was posthumous, died in a motor cycle accident last year.

She ran the Reach-Out Drop-In Centre and provided support to the community by supplying meals to the homeless, those in need and a shoulder to lean on.

She never sought recognition and was a quiet achiever who identified a gap in services and took it upon herself to fill it.

Her dedication and tireless efforts led to her being a much-loved member of the community.

As well as her charity work, she was the mother of two teenagers who she supported in their every endeavour.

Nikki left a huge mark on the community and was recognised for her selfless work.

Mark Patterson demonstrates a great work ethic and compassion for others less fortunate.

Mark has his own plumbing business and often lends his time free to those in need.

He is a volunteer skipper for Mandurah Water Rescue, a position he has held for eight years.

He often gives up family time to help keep local waterways safe during community events, as well as the recovery of vessels and missing persons over the past few years.

As a passionate, registered bee keeper, he works with local pest control businesses, real estate agents and the City of Mandurah to preserve the native bee population.

Youth Citizen of the Year is Jake Webb.

Jake has been a member of Mandurah Surf Life Saving Club since he was six.

He started life saving services at 13 and has provided volunteer water safety for many sports and community events over the past six years.

The majority of patrols are at weekends, involving a significant contribution of his own time.

Now 19, he is the youngest member of the Peel Operations Emergency Squad that is on standby for critical beach and ocean incidents.

Senior Citizen of the Year is Kath Palmer.

Kath helps the homeless and those in need by supplying food boxes, helping search for employment and contributing to fundraising events.

She also attends the funerals of homeless people.

She has a Facebook page called Halo that she set up to ask help from the community and also helps people find housing, furnish their homes and guides them back to their own independence.

The Active Citizenship group or event award went to HALO, which runs an op shop providing food, clothing and furniture to those in need.

The group has a transitional home, which houses up to 10 homeless people at a time, providing them with shelter, meals and support to transition to their own home and employment.

HALO also runs Peel Community Kitcheh on Sundays to feed the homeless and those in need.

Mandurah Mayor Marina Vergone said the “hidden gems” went about making their contribution without being recognised but Australia Day was a great day to celebrate their important role in the community.